Transformation of a union local : local 1075 International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW-CIO), 1952-1962
Warnar, Hendrik Matthew
Master of Arts
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What is there in common between socialism and labour in Canada? Or, phrased differently, is there a history of socialism and the labour movement in Canada? Historians and other academics have asked themselves these questions, or ones like them, for a long time. Some students of history doubt the relevance of such questions at all. But there is a historiography attesting to the importance of associating ideas of socialism with a labour movement. Historians of the left, E.P. Thompson foremost among them, have concentrated a great deal of their work upon consciousness in “working class” culture. Historically, class consciousness has developed, in part, through its own opposition to other interests in capitalist society. And here we ask ourselves, to what extent is a class conscious of itself? How does this consciousness manifest itself? In Canada, there is a history of socialism, to be sure. Yet, to speak of a labour movement that actively engages itself with the aim of bettering the condition of working people is to speak of something different. The 1932 Regina Manifesto of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (Farmer, Labour, Socialist) is a historical document testifying to the socialist aspirations of a large membership drawn from Canadian society.